Blood Pressure Home Monitoring
Your child needs to have his blood pressure
checked at home. This is to help you and the doctor monitor your child’s health.
Take your child’s blood pressure as instructed. Equipment needed:
Blood Pressure Cuff: This cuff should cover about 75% of the upper arm and wrap completely
around it. As your child grows, the cuff may need to be changed to a bigger size.
Sphygmomanometer: An instrument to measure blood pressure.
Stethoscope: Check the stethoscope before using it. Leaks in the tubing, loose fitting
connections, or other equipment problems can cause incorrect measurements.
How to take your child’s blood pressure: Have your child sit quietly for at least 2
minutes before you take his blood pressure. Infants and toddlers can be held or laid down.
Older children can sit or lie down. Try to use the same arm in the same position each
time you check the blood pressure. Use your first and second fingers to feel
the brachial artery pulse (located on the inside of the arm at the bend of the elbow).
Wrap the blood pressure cuff around the upper arm (just above the elbow) with the center
of the cuff over the brachial artery. The cuff should be tight enough that you should
be able to slide only one finger under the edge of the cuff.
If measuring blood pressure manually, place the stethoscope ear pieces in your ears. Then
place the stethoscope’s diaphragm (the disc portion) over the brachial pulse.
Turn the screw on the cuff clockwise to close it.
Then squeeze the bulb rapidly to pump up the cuff. Pump the cuff to 20 mm points higher
than the last systolic pressure (the top number of a blood pressure reading).
While holding the stethoscope over the brachial pulse, turn the bulb’s screw counter clockwise.
Slowly allow all the air to escape from the cuff while watching the dial and listening
for the first sound. This number is the systolic pressure.
If the first sound is heard immediately, reinflate the cuff to 20-30 mm higher, then begin again.
Continue to slowly let the air out of the cuff while watching the dial. Listen for a
muffling or the disappearance of the sound. This number is the diastolic pressure.
Deflate the cuff completely. It is best to measure the blood pressure 2 or 3 times.
Record all blood pressure readings, date and time on the home record. (Your doctor may
also ask you to record the site(which arm) where the blood pressure was taken on the
record.) If your child is taking blood pressure medication(s), also record the time he takes
his medication(s). Bring the home record with you to all clinic visits. Have the record
available when you talk to the nurse or doctor on the phone.